ANIMAL PEOPLE FORUM http://animalpeopleforum.org A global forum in which people who care about animals can speak and be heard! Thu, 21 Jun 2018 01:07:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 POETRY: Sandyford 10/6/18 http://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/06/20/sandyford-10-6-18/ http://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/06/20/sandyford-10-6-18/#respond Wed, 20 Jun 2018 23:26:26 +0000 http://animalpeopleforum.org/?p=18201 A poem inspired by a Save Movement Vigil at the Sandyford slaughterhouse in Paisley, Scotland.

The post POETRY: Sandyford 10/6/18 appeared first on ANIMAL PEOPLE FORUM.

]]>

A lorry-load of bleating corpses
Still bright eyes glisten in the sun
Last light for these lambs
Lured away from mother’s side
Into the yawning chasm of human appetite.


This poem was written after attending a Save Movement vigil at the Sandyford Abbatoir in Paisley, Scotland. We gave witness to pigs, cows and a crammed truckload of sheep and lambs arriving for slaughter.


Featured image credit Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals. Chalk drawing by Rachael Redgate.

The post POETRY: Sandyford 10/6/18 appeared first on ANIMAL PEOPLE FORUM.

]]>
http://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/06/20/sandyford-10-6-18/feed/ 0
Good Laws, Bad Implementation: The State of Animal Protection in India http://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/06/18/good-laws-bad-implementation-state-animal-protection-india/ http://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/06/18/good-laws-bad-implementation-state-animal-protection-india/#respond Tue, 19 Jun 2018 04:19:55 +0000 http://animalpeopleforum.org/?p=18282 The law alone is not enough to stop violence against animals. Improving how animals are treated requires a shift in the way we campaign.

The post Good Laws, Bad Implementation: The State of Animal Protection in India appeared first on ANIMAL PEOPLE FORUM.

]]>

India’s animal protection community welcomed the recent conviction of Bollywood actor Salman Khan in the 1998 blackbuck killing case, with the high court passing a sentence of five years in prison along with a fine of Rs. 10,000. The verdict sent a clear message, that whether celebrity or commoner, no one was above the law.

It also highlighted an often overlooked fact, that the Wildlife Protection Act is an extremely progressive law. A quick look at the Wildlife Protection Act shines light on the detail and depth with which the law has been written. Even the mere attempt, whether successful or not, to capture, kill or poison a wild animal falls under the offence of hunting. Punishment for offences in the WPA can get you fined for Rs. 25,000 or three years of imprisonment, with the fine going up to six years in cases of repeat offenders.

The strength of the law itself, however, can only get us so far. In reality, cases of conviction under the Wildlife Protection Law are few and far in between, making it similar to most other animal laws that exist in the country.

Take meat shops for example, controlled by over five different laws and advisories: namely, Food Safety and Standards Regulation 2010, Slaughterhouse Rules 2001, Pollution Control norms, Municipal Rules and BIS standards. Yet the meat industry still stands largely unregulated, perpetuating abuses such as child labour, injury and disease among animals and illegal slaughter. Similarly, while many local authorities have banned the setting up of dairies within municipal limits, the growing crowds of cattle lining suburban areas show the callousness and disregard with which these rules are regularly flouted.

Clearly, the law alone is not enough to stop violence against animals. For every progressive piece of legislation that stands to fight for animals in India, there remains a struggle to ensure that violations are reported and perpetrators are brought to task. This mismatch between the existence of good laws and their actual implementation reflects our ability (or lack thereof) to provide effective solutions to the problem of animal rights violations.

As a first step, we must back up existing knowledge with practical know-how to ensure that the law is upheld, not just on paper, but in spirit. This practical ability translates to working collaboratively alongside people, learning to engage with the government and our communities in a healthy way and learning to plan effective local campaigns. It is only through networking, capacity building and grassroots level trainings that we can ensure improved enforcement from the ground up.

Where such an approach has been taken, even such complex problems as those surrounding the meat industry have shown marked improvement. Campaigners in cities like Jaipur and Hyderabad have been quietly campaigning against meat shops by conducting regular inspections and follow-ups, filing complaints, enabling inspections by food safety authorities and municipal corporations, training themselves and recruiting volunteers. This has resulted in many roadside shops being shut down, and many others becoming licensed and regulated.

Achieving such successes requires a shift in the way we campaign. We must move from a reactive, incident-driven way of working to one that ensures persistent, sustainable change in the long run. A practical example of this would be to not only have an effective response protocol in case of a dog bite, but also to enact regular ABC (animal birth control), ARV (anti-rabies vaccination), education and counseling so that the number of such cases falls in the long run.

This means responding to things as they occur, but also creating conditions that will ensure a proactive framework to protect the interests of animals. As advocates for animal rights, passion plays a big role in our fighting for animals. We now need to take all that passion and direct it into organised animal protection work. The animal rights cause still relies too heavily on a small number of passionate but scattered animal lovers, and the need to come together as a united movement has never been stronger. With the growing rate of animal abuse in our country, we simply cannot wait for things to fall into place on their own.


Featured image: blackbucks in Gujarat. Credit Bernard DUPONT, Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

The post Good Laws, Bad Implementation: The State of Animal Protection in India appeared first on ANIMAL PEOPLE FORUM.

]]>
http://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/06/18/good-laws-bad-implementation-state-animal-protection-india/feed/ 0
The Ethical Cost of Killing for Conservation http://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/06/01/ethical-cost-killing-conservation/ http://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/06/01/ethical-cost-killing-conservation/#respond Fri, 01 Jun 2018 07:16:52 +0000 http://animalpeopleforum.org/?p=18116 Someday in the future, a population of rabbits on a distant archipelago might be something people would marvel at. The focus of conservation should be on promoting environmental stability rather than attempting to reintroduce or eliminate particular species.

The post The Ethical Cost of Killing for Conservation appeared first on ANIMAL PEOPLE FORUM.

]]>

Animal People founder and president Kim Bartlett responds to a recent article in The Washington Post.

A hundred and forty-four years ago, a supply of edibles including a cage of rabbits was stowed aboard a ship headed for the French-owned Kerguelen Islands, which were “about as far from human civilization as anyone can get, with only a couple of dozen native plants and not a lot of wildlife other than birds and seals.”  The archipelago was the destination for a group of scientists onboard who wanted to be there for an astronomy observation.

Satellite view of the Kerguelen Islands. Image credit Antti Lipponen, CC BY 2.0 / cropped

When the astronomy event was over and the ship was leaving the archipelago, five of the rabbits were abandoned on the island to see if they would survive and become a future food source for human visitors or inhabitants.  Happily for the five rabbits, they prospered and multiplied abundantly in an ecosystem that contained no rabbit predators or any animals with whom they might be in conflict.  But not so happily for the modern descendants of the original five rabbits, they have been declared an “invasive species,” a death sentence that can be decreed by conservationists.  Even before the term “invasive species” caught on, “an effort by the French in the 1950s to introduce a disease to kill off rabbits” was attempted, but only killed a percentage of the population––as is typical of all diseases.

As it so happens, on this archipelago in the actual middle of nowhere with less than a hundred people (all scientists at a research station), the rabbits aren’t endangering other species of animals.  They are, in fact, serving as a food source for feral cats descended from ships’ cats.  The rabbits have, admittedly, changed the distribution of plants on the islands, causing the original ground cover of Azorella selago to give way to fields of leafy burnet.  The rabbits also disturb soil scientists, who claim that as long as the rabbits remain, the soil cannot “return to an initial state.”  Never mind that Azorella is not a food source for animals, and that the “initial state” of the ground of the islands would have been hot lava—the rabbits are doomed for having been so prominently identified as an invasive species (as are the feral cats, of course, and two species of deliberately-introduced trout that no one seems to find objectionable).

The population of harmless rabbits, descended from five pathetic creatures pulled from a box and thrown ashore in a near-Antarctic climate to live or die by their own devices, will be subjected to purges using guns, dogs, traps, chemicals, fire, etc., and probably all these atrocities will be ineffectual in completely ridding the archipelago of rabbits.  But, on the other hand, if the purges should be successful, what the world will have will be an archipelago in the middle of nowhere that has less life on it than it does now.

Rabbit infected with myxomatosis, a disease used historically against introduced rabbit populations. It causes great individual misery but has little effect on overall numbers. Image credit James Niland, CC BY 2.0

We have no idea what climate change will do to the world in ten or twenty years, much less a century.  Someday in the future, a population of rabbits on a distant archipelago might be something people would marvel at rather than something people would think needs killing.  There have always been species moving in and out of habitats; migrations are one of the many drivers of evolution.  In applied conservation, as in all practices, an ounce of humility is preferable to many pounds of hubris.  Since we are less certain than ever what nature has in store for us even in the short term, the focus of conservation should be on promoting and maintaining environmental stability rather than attempting to reintroduce species presumed to have been present in ecosystems at arbitrary dates in history, or eliminate those that weren’t.  The ethical cost of achieving such goals, even if they were possible, is enormously high, and involves at least temporary eradication of predator and competitor species of the species to be reintroduced.

If, though, while practicing ethics in conservation, it is actually imperative that certain animals be removed from an ecosystem, and there is no option but killing, it should be done as humanely as possible.  Most crucially, however, if there are to be ethics in conservation, there must be respect for individual animals’ lives.  If conservation cannot evolve into both ethical theory and ethical practice, its arbitrary schemes of how ecosystems might be remodeled with some killing here and a little more killing there may someday be deemed as morally bankrupt a human endeavor as colonialism or ethnic cleansing.


Featured image: Yareta, Azorella compacta, a close relative of the plant Azorella selago native to the Kerguelen Islands, and a rabbit-like rodent called a Viscacha in Bolivia. Credit Leonora (Ellie) Enking, CC BY-SA 2.0 / cropped

The post The Ethical Cost of Killing for Conservation appeared first on ANIMAL PEOPLE FORUM.

]]>
http://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/06/01/ethical-cost-killing-conservation/feed/ 0
Looking beyond the conservation status quo – Ethical Conservation Course applications now open! http://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/05/30/looking-beyond-conservation-status-quo-ethical-conservation-course-applications-now-open/ http://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/05/30/looking-beyond-conservation-status-quo-ethical-conservation-course-applications-now-open/#respond Thu, 31 May 2018 04:16:34 +0000 http://animalpeopleforum.org/?p=18001 If we want to protect nature and our future on this planet, we must dismantle and restructure dominant conservation systems. Reclaim Conservation and Conservation Solutions Afrika are planning a field course this August in Nanyuki, Kenya which will explore these issues in depth.

The post Looking beyond the conservation status quo – Ethical Conservation Course applications now open! appeared first on ANIMAL PEOPLE FORUM.

]]>

People around the globe are increasingly noticing contradictions and flaws in the way global mainstream conservation is managed. Big NGOs are funded by huge donations from the world’s worst polluters, and often model themselves after commercial businesses which strive for production over protection. The murder of endangered species is considered conservation, so long as it is framed as luxurious sport hunting which pays large sums to big NGOs and tourism companies. Local and Indigenous people, who were the guardians of the environment for millennia, are now considered the enemies of nature, being separated from it by fences and shotguns. With such a flawed system, it is no surprise that despite millions of dollars being poured into mainstream conservation projects, the extinction crisis is only worsening and human rights are being regularly violated.

Although both the general public and conservation practitioners are increasingly aware of the shortfalls in conservation, not many are aware of the alternatives available. However, these alternatives do exist: local people, Indigenous people, and activists are initiating and carrying out effective conservation actions all over the world. Unfortunately their work is ignored, marginalized and even blocked by the dominant conservation groups and economic interests.

Reclaim Conservation is a new, radical, anti-racist, anti-colonialist, pro-animal rights organization. We have two main aims:

  1. To expose mainstream conservation, making the public aware that if we want to protect nature and our future on this planet we must dismantle and restructure dominant conservation systems.
  2. To promote alternative conservation systems through activism and locally run initiatives based on social justice, inclusion, high morals, sincerity and compassion towards nature and humanity.

 

We are planning a field course which will explore these issues in depth. The course will take place in Nanyuki, Kenya, where participants will have the chance to witness local Maasai communities’ traditional conservation initiatives and learn first-hand about the contradictions in the work of international NGOs, while appreciating Kenya’s amazing wildlife. This is a twelve-day course that will start on the 28th of August and will include both theoretical and practical components. The course is organized by Reclaim Conservation and Conservation Solutions Afrika.

Visit the course website.

For more information write to reclaimconservation@gmail.com 

The post Looking beyond the conservation status quo – Ethical Conservation Course applications now open! appeared first on ANIMAL PEOPLE FORUM.

]]>
http://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/05/30/looking-beyond-conservation-status-quo-ethical-conservation-course-applications-now-open/feed/ 0
It’s time to ‘Raise Pigs Right’ http://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/05/30/time-raise-pigs-right/ http://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/05/30/time-raise-pigs-right/#respond Thu, 31 May 2018 02:35:38 +0000 http://animalpeopleforum.org/?p=18098 Pigs are susceptible to the same types of emotional pain that human mothers feel. We can and must demand that major supermarket chains free pigs from cages and allow them to live in groups.

The post It’s time to ‘Raise Pigs Right’ appeared first on ANIMAL PEOPLE FORUM.

]]>

As one of the most intensively farmed animals on the planet, pigs on factory farms live miserable lives. The suffering of mother pigs is especially acute; three out of four of the world’s mother pigs are imprisoned in steel cages, inside giant warehouses, where they never feel the earth beneath their feet, see the sky above their heads, or even take a breath of fresh air.

Steel bars separate these highly social animals from other pigs. To maximize profit, mother pigs are forced to give birth to large litters of piglets, over and over again, until their bodies are worn out. Mother pigs are stuffed into cages so small that they cannot even turn around and made to lie in their own excrement. Their muscles wither and they become weak. They can develop skin lesions, painful lameness, digestive problems and lung disease. Mother pigs spend almost their entire lives in cages, unable to behave naturally.

In addition to the physical cruelty, mother pigs are psychologically tortured, too. Being kept in cages for pregnancy means they’re prevented from building nests. They are denied the opportunity to bond with their offspring. Piglets are heartbreakingly torn from their mothers just a few weeks after birth. Similar to how people would react, both mother pigs and piglets cry out, squealing their distress at the premature separation.

Pigs are highly social and instinctually engage in nesting and other maternal behaviors. Forcing mother pigs to live under such duress puts them at risk of postpartum depression, not unlike human moms. A recent report by scientist Courtney Daigle indicates that “hormonal profiles and social factors that influence the development of [postpartum depression]in humans mirror those observed in sows surrounding parturition.” That is, pigs are susceptible to the same types of emotional pain that human mothers feel.

This review also suggests that “since humans and pigs are both highly social, cognitive species, sows may require more social support during pregnancy and parturition than is currently available, [and the conditions they live in]  may be counterproductive in preventing the occurrence of piglet crushing and savaging.” In other words, mother pigs are being forced to live in circumstances so cruel they can inadvertently harm their own piglets.

Free-ranging pigs prefer to live in social groups of 2-6 adult females (usually related adult mother pigs of multiple generations), along with their piglets and young adult offspring. Pigs learn social skills, including mothering ability, from living in these matriarchal groups. But the reality on factory farms is starkly different: mother pigs are socially isolated in cages for pregnancy, giving birth, and nursing their piglets, prevented from enjoying their natural social life and from learning from experienced mother pigs. Daigle observes that larger social networks of support are also vital for human moms, and can even help protect against postpartum depression.

Improving conditions for pigs on farms isn’t just better for pigs – it’s better for people. Good animal welfare reduces stress, injury, and disease, allowing for the reduced use of routine antibiotics, providing higher-quality and safer food. Higher-welfare farming isn’t just possible – it’s crucial.

We can encourage more humane farming by calling on leading food companies to ensure that pigs have a life worth living. It will take all of us working together to change the way pigs are farmed, but there’s hope – we know that consumers do care about how pigs are raised for their food. A series of international research studies conducted for World Animal Protection found that 80 percent of people in the United States were concerned after seeing the realities of commercial farming. Internationally, 72 percent believe the way factory farmed pigs are kept is “upsetting,” “wrong” or “shocking.” In the United States, nearly 90 percent of shoppers think that supermarkets have a big responsibility to ensure that pigs are treated well when sourcing pork — including pigs raised overseas as well as in the U.S.

Together we have the power to end the suffering of mother pigs. We can and must demand that major supermarket chains free pigs from cages and allow them to live in groups. We’re currently calling on Kroger, the nation’s largest supermarket chain by revenue, to step up for pigs by eliminating the use of cruel gestation crates for the pigs in its supply chain. As one of the first grocery store chains to commit to transitioning to cage free eggs, Kroger has long been a food industry leader on animal welfare. But so far, they’ve only made vague statements that they will move away from sourcing pork from systems that cage pregnant pigs. They have not yet committed to a clear timeline for progress.

We’re also calling on Kroger to get pigs out of barren living environments and provide them with enrichment. Mother pigs need nesting materials and enough room to build their nests. Piglets should be allowed to bond with their mothers. All pigs should be given materials like straw for foraging, to allow them to express natural behavior. And it’s critical to note that these changes are achievable. World Animal Protection has worked with leading pig producers around the world to ensure that mother pigs are taken out of cages, and kept in groups with room to move and opportunities to socialize. These systems are good for animals, good for business, and good for people. There is no excuse for cruelty.

We’re building a movement to empower consumers to call on supermarkets like Kroger to end the cruel treatment of factory-farmed pigs by only stocking humanely raised pork products. Sign our petition to Kroger now to add your voice to the chorus of voices speaking out for mother pigs and piglets. Together, we can reduce cruelty and raise the quality of life for countless pigs around the world.

Sign the petition on behalf of mother pigs and piglets now!


Featured image courtesy Kim Bartlett / Animal People, Inc.

The post It’s time to ‘Raise Pigs Right’ appeared first on ANIMAL PEOPLE FORUM.

]]>
http://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/05/30/time-raise-pigs-right/feed/ 0
Greyhound industry targeting children http://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/05/30/greyhound-industry-targeting-children/ http://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/05/30/greyhound-industry-targeting-children/#respond Wed, 30 May 2018 22:27:19 +0000 http://animalpeopleforum.org/?p=18090 Despite being gambling venues where dogs can be heard crying out in agony when they suffer injuries, Irish greyhound racing tracks are increasingly trying to lure kids in with offers of toy vouchers, free meals and colouring competitions.

The post Greyhound industry targeting children appeared first on ANIMAL PEOPLE FORUM.

]]>

The dying greyhound industry is shamefully targeting youngsters as part of a desperate attempt to stay afloat.

Despite being gambling venues where dogs can be heard crying out in agony when they suffer injuries, Irish greyhound tracks are increasingly trying to lure kids in with offers of toy vouchers, free meals and colouring competitions.

In its latest 5-year strategic plan, the Irish Greyhound Board stresses the importance of “encouragement of the younger generation as spectators and regular attendees at greyhound race meetings” and on its website highlights that “children under 18 are welcomed during racing under the supervision of an adult”.

On the “Go Greyhound Racing” site, the IGB encourages parents to introduce their children to racing, saying “going greyhound racing is something totally different, especially if your children haven’t done anything like it before. It gives them something new to look forward to and perhaps even a new hobby to embrace.”

The industry is also trying to attract youngsters to tracks via primary school and GAA club fundraisers and by offering free meals to children who hold their communion and confirmation parties at a track. There is also the offer of “a €5 Toy Store Voucher for the Communion/Confirmation Child” and “Communion/Confirmation child’s name in the race programme”.

Among the tracks presenting greyhound racing as “family-friendly” is Mullingar stadium – the worst in Ireland for greyhound injuries.

On its webpage, it states: “Greyhound racing is one of those rare occasions that all the family can enjoy together. And the fact that the races take place every twelve minutes or so means that children, in particular, have plenty to keep them interested – the kids can…have a ball watching the action”.

Last year, a total of 357 greyhounds suffered injuries and 124 were killed at tracks around Ireland. Mullingar track ranked as the worst for injuries, with 71 dogs reported injured. Children watching “the action” are likely to have seen dogs falling and sustaining injuries to legs, wrists, shoulders, backs, tails, muscles and toes. Mullingar track also stands as the second worst in Ireland for greyhound deaths, with the figures showing that 16 greyhounds were “put to sleep by a vet” there in 2017.

Encouraging children to attend at Easter, the track held a colouring competition with the message: “Calling all kids – show us your artist talent & you could be a winner…Colour in our cartoon greyhound [and]  come visit us on Easter Sunday to enter your finished masterpiece”.

A colouring competition was also organised at Limerick Greyhound Stadium – headquarters of the Irish Greyhound Board and the track where the most greyhounds were destroyed last year. Out of 46 greyhounds who suffered injuries there, 41 per cent (19) were put to sleep by a track vet.

Limerick Animal Welfare has highlighted on its Facebook page how “the Irish Greyhound Board are offering free colouring competitions for young children and free Easter treats if they attend the race nights at the Limerick greyhound track this weekend”. Many expressed disgust, with comments including: “hard to know how much lower IGB can go in trying to buy a future audience – disgraceful that a state subsidised body can get away with doing this” and “targeting children with dog killing, abuse, drugging and gambling – as classless as you’d expect from dog racers. They must be desperate to stoop so low.”


ACTION ALERT

Join us in contacting Ireland’s Minister for Children to urge her to intervene to stop this semi-state gambling industry targeting children.

Katherine Zappone, TD
Minister for Children and Youth Affairs
43-49 Mespil Rd, Dublin 4
Phone: 085 2196189 OR 01 647 3000
Email: Katherine.Zappone@oireachtas.ie
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KatherineZappone/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KZapponeTD

Say NO to the greyhound industry – don’t attend races or fund-raisers held at greyhound tracks. Distribute our “6 reasons to say NO to greyhound racing” leaflet outside greyhound tracks to encourage people to show compassion and boycott greyhound racing. You can download the leaflet at http://www.banbloodsports.com/ln170616.htm or order copies by emailing info@banbloodsports.com


Featured image: greyhound racing at Mullingar stadium. Credit P. LeBret & P. Gavigan, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 3.0

The post Greyhound industry targeting children appeared first on ANIMAL PEOPLE FORUM.

]]>
http://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/05/30/greyhound-industry-targeting-children/feed/ 0
South African Army horses neglected http://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/05/30/south-african-army-horses-neglected/ http://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/05/30/south-african-army-horses-neglected/#respond Wed, 30 May 2018 21:47:56 +0000 http://animalpeopleforum.org/?p=18079 NSPCA inspectors were recently horrified to discover that horses in the care of South Africa's army were starving to death. We will be laying criminal charges against the persons responsible for their suffering.

The post South African Army horses neglected appeared first on ANIMAL PEOPLE FORUM.

]]>

NSPCA inspectors were recently horrified to discover that horses in the care of the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) were starving to death. 25 horses on the army base, operated by the South African Army Special Infantry Capability (SAASIC) Unit, were in such an emaciated condition or compromised state of health that to prevent their further suffering they had to be destroyed.

In 2013, SANDF and NSPCA entered into a Memorandum of Understanding, which was formally signed in May 2016. Yet the SANDF have continually reneged on the agreement, particularly the SAASIC Unit, with regards to their responsibilities to adequately care for the animals in their control.

Their failure to secure suitably qualified personnel or adequate facilities, combined with a non-empathetic infrastructure that has repeatedly failed the animals in their care, has resulted in a complete breakdown in the welfare conditions afforded to the horses.

The main herd had no food, leaving the horses with no other option but to eat soil and their own faeces. Food was only provided to the horses after the NSPCA forced the SAASIC unit into taking emergency action to secure adequate feed for the animals.

Further investigations revealed that prior to this inspection, the Military Veterinary Institute (MVI) had already had to step in and euthanise starving horses and treat others as a result of ongoing neglect.

A further 169 horses were kept on the Potchefstroom property in the North West Province, which is overstocked, has inadequate shelter and is a hazardous environment for these animals.

The NSPCA will be laying criminal charges against the persons responsible for the suffering of these horses.

The NSPCA has received no official communication from the Government. The chief of the SANDF, General Solly Shoke, to whom we addressed a letter, has neither acknowledged receipt thereof nor responded in any way to the serious animal welfare concerns that were raised.

It is of further concern that the SANDF has publicly stated that 60 of the remaining horses will be taken to Boekenhoutskloof, a Signals Base Camp. The area in which the camp is situated is noted for ticks and tick borne diseases in horses, particularly in summer months. This, in conjunction with the lack of equine facilities at the camp, raises questions regarding the ability of the SANDF to implement effective parasite control measures for these wild horses. Furthermore, there are no veterinarians or veterinary facilities belonging to the SANDF in the area.

We question the lack of consultation by the SANDF with the NSPCA since the findings of our recent inspections, as well as the decision taken to move 60 wild horses to an unsuitable area, where challenges exist in providing these animals with the care and attention they deserve.

We will continue to conduct inspections and monitor the welfare of these horses. Given the circumstances, the necessity may well arise in the future for the NSPCA to remove the horses on welfare grounds. This work will be undertaken with donor funding, which is hard come by. It is our belief that through responsible ownership, consultation and progressive action by the SANDF, this entire situation could have been avoided.


Featured image: wild horses in South Africa. Courtesy Kim Bartlett / Animal People, Inc.

The post South African Army horses neglected appeared first on ANIMAL PEOPLE FORUM.

]]>
http://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/05/30/south-african-army-horses-neglected/feed/ 0
Croatia’s biggest ever dog protection campaign now underway! http://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/05/21/croatias-biggest-ever-dog-protection-campaign-now-underway/ http://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/05/21/croatias-biggest-ever-dog-protection-campaign-now-underway/#comments Mon, 21 May 2018 22:20:55 +0000 http://animalpeopleforum.org/?p=17983 The situation is still quite alarming, with many abandoned dogs even a few years after our first reactions. We are constantly trying to provide emergency help for both the dogs and the Roma people.

The post Croatia’s biggest ever dog protection campaign now underway! appeared first on ANIMAL PEOPLE FORUM.

]]>

In 2015, Animal Friends Croatia investigated a case of horrific animal cruelty at a Roma settlement in Međimurje County. The investigation revealed an alarming situation overall, and highlighted the necessity of providing emergency assistance for both the dogs and the Roma settlements.

While visiting the settlement – better than most when it comes to the treatment of animals – the Animal Friends team was astonished by the poor conditions of the dogs. A large number of dogs suffer in dogfights. Besides deliberate cruelty, locals do not have basic knowledge or access to information about the proper treatment of animals. The sight of uncastrated and sick dogs roaming the streets and around every house seems to belong to some other time and place. Anyone who has seen it can testify that the dogs and the people alike need quick and concrete assistance.

Although a part of the public expressed anger towards the Roma people, the fact is that the existing situation is largely thanks to people from cities who leave unwanted dogs close to Roma settlements – as well as those who knew but kept silent, not undertaking anything, until the shocking footage of dog torture was revealed.

Animal Friends Croatia sent a report to the Ministry of Agriculture and other relevant ministries, the government, veterinary inspectors, District Attorney’s Office, Police Department and the president of the state, seeking to urgently address the problem of abandonment, neglect and ruthless forms of torture of dogs in Roma settlements in Međimurje County. It was emphasized that this is a very complex problem and that the solution requires persistence, patience and engagement of experts from various fields – not just those involved in animal protection.

The situation is still quite alarming, with many abandoned dogs even a few years after our first reactions. We are constantly trying to provide emergency help for both the dogs and the Roma people.

Today in 2018, about 3,000 dogs are still left on their own, all in poor condition. They are not sterilized, they don’t have microchips, and they are hungry, abused and sick. During winter 2017/2018 we sighted around 30 pregnant bitches, and stumbled across puppies frozen to death. The closest dog shelter in the town of Čakovec sometimes receives 20 puppies daily from these settlements, and all of them are sick. The shelter is full and needs help to expand its capacity.

The good news is that our Ministry, after many years of waiting, is finally taking action to solve the problem and will finance a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) and adoption program for all dogs in Roma settlements. This is the result of years of lobbying by animal protection organizations. The action should start in May and finish when all dogs are neutered, but is a huge undertaking and will be difficult to complete without further help.

The Croatian Ministry of Agriculture will finance the castration of all dogs, but given the large number of dogs that need to be castrated in the shortest time possible, any outside assistance is welcome. We need professional veterinarians and volunteers, dog food and medicine, and help in advertising animals ready for adoption and securing necessary funds. The challenge may seem daunting, but also presents an opportunity to save many dogs and prevent tremendous long-term suffering.

The schedule is tight and there are around 3,000 dogs to take care of. Please help us make the most of this opportunity we have been waiting for many years. This is the biggest dog protection action ever undertaken in Croatia, and without your help and cooperation we cannot achieve it.

Please contact us at prijatelji-zivotinja@inet.hr for any further information about how you can get involved.

Newly rescued, on their way to a better life!

The post Croatia’s biggest ever dog protection campaign now underway! appeared first on ANIMAL PEOPLE FORUM.

]]>
http://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/05/21/croatias-biggest-ever-dog-protection-campaign-now-underway/feed/ 2
A Massive Rally in China for Punishing Animal Abusers http://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/05/20/massive-rally-china-punishing-animal-abusers/ http://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/05/20/massive-rally-china-punishing-animal-abusers/#comments Sun, 20 May 2018 22:03:06 +0000 http://animalpeopleforum.org/?p=17959 In China's city of Dalian, a quarter million people staged a massive protest in response to a number of high-profile cruelty cases. As the climax of the event, a huge banner was displayed. It read: "Build a Beautiful China, Punish Animal Abusers."

The post A Massive Rally in China for Punishing Animal Abusers appeared first on ANIMAL PEOPLE FORUM.

]]>

The city of Dalian is again in the Chinese news. Two weeks ago, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un landed in Dalian to meet with Chinese president Xi Jinping, causing a big stir in China and around the world. On May 19, Dalian was the center of attention again. A quarter million people, in three separate locations of the city, staged the massive annual “Walk” event.

Some 2,000 Vshine Animal Protection Association supporters showed up at the event with their dogs and carrying posters calling for kindness to animals.

Vshine is a China partner of Humane Society International. As the climax of Vshine’s participation in the event, a huge banner was displayed. It read: “Build a Beautiful China, Punish Animal Abusers.”

This is the year’s message from Vshine to the public and the country’s law enforcement, in response to a number of high-profile cruelty cases across China motivated by sheer malice.

Hundreds of dogs joined the walk. Local and national media were present. Dalian is one of the most developed cities in the country. Dalian is home to China’s biggest animal protection association, Vshine. It is also a city most hostile to dog meat traders.

Well-done, Vshine! Well-done, Dalian.

The post A Massive Rally in China for Punishing Animal Abusers appeared first on ANIMAL PEOPLE FORUM.

]]>
http://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/05/20/massive-rally-china-punishing-animal-abusers/feed/ 1
Leopard tortoises languishing in South African rehab centres http://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/05/19/leopard-tortoises-languishing-south-african-rehab-centres/ http://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/05/19/leopard-tortoises-languishing-south-african-rehab-centres/#respond Sat, 19 May 2018 19:23:41 +0000 http://animalpeopleforum.org/?p=17929 We urgently appeal to members of the public to stop keeping tortoises as pets. By leaving these gentle animals in the wild you will also help relieve the burden placed on rehabilitation centres and ensure the future of the species.

The post Leopard tortoises languishing in South African rehab centres appeared first on ANIMAL PEOPLE FORUM.

]]>

The NSPCA Wildlife Protection Unit has been part of a forum to tackle the large number of leopard tortoises that cannot be released from rehabilitation centres in Gauteng province, South Africa.

Recent inspections confirmed over 200 of these animals are confined in only three different rehabilitation centres in Gauteng. These animals cannot be released according to the Gauteng Department of Agricultural and Rural Development (GDARD)’s biodiversity management department. The large number of these animals in confinement are due to members of the public picking up tortoises from the roadside thinking they need to be rescued. 

Furthermore this is also due to illegal breeders, private owners keeping these animals as pets and, of course, the illegal roadside sellers. Illegal hawking is an ongoing concern and is being addressed by the NSPCA Wildlife Protection Unit by conducting a large scale investigation and compiling evidence to use in a court case.

Though many of these reptiles are found in a severe state of malnutrition, overheated, underweight, sick or injured, the majority are healthy tortoises that one would be able to release into a managed system.

Despite the established forum having discussed the issue extensively, the outcome for these animals looks very bleak due to the Conservation department’s unwillingness to make a decision.

We urgently appeal to members of the public to stop keeping tortoises as pets. By leaving these gentle animals in the wild you will also help relieve the burden placed on rehabilitation centres and ensure the future of the species.


Featured image credit Steve Slater, CC BY 2.0

The post Leopard tortoises languishing in South African rehab centres appeared first on ANIMAL PEOPLE FORUM.

]]>
http://animalpeopleforum.org/2018/05/19/leopard-tortoises-languishing-south-african-rehab-centres/feed/ 0